With the launch of the Government’s flagship environmental energy policy this week Stourbridge expert Colin Priest said it was very disappointing that a new survey showed that fewer in one people had even heard of the Green Deal.

Billed as the “biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War,” the Coalition’s campaign, which started on Monday (January 28), is offering long-term loans up to 25 years to help residents “stay warm for less”.

But according to a YouGov poll commissioned by USwitch.com last week just 19% of those asked knew about the Green Deal.

“However,” said Colin, who lives in Quarry Bank and works for Noreus in Stafford, “it is encouraging that the same poll showed 67% of householders wanted to make their homes more energy efficient with 86% seeing lower bills as the key benefit.”

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, added: “The high cost of energy today means that the Green Deal has to deliver.” The Government has set aside £125 million for the Green Deal, which was launched with a £2.9m marketing budget this Monday.

Under the scheme householders can take out a loan with the Green Deal Finance Company, a non-profit making organisation backed by the Government, to spend on energy-saving improvements while the money will be repaid through electricity bills.

But customers will have to repay the loan at a maximum rate of 6.92%, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, having also paid a £63 set-up charge and a £20 a year annual fee.

Colin, pictured, said the incentive for owner occupiers, those renting privately or in social housing and private and social landlords, is that the more work they have done the more they get back from the package.

He said firstly householders would need an Energy Performance Certificate, costing between £60 and £90, which recommends ways to reduce bills and save money. To find an assessor in your area speak to Colin or go to www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performace-certificates The main areas customers can benefit are: Loft and wall insulation is where up to 25 per cent of the home’s heat is lost. Colin recommends Icynene as an ideal and environmentally friendly solution.

Boiler upgrades – modern band A boilers are 20 per cent more efficient than the outdated band G boilers in many homes.

Double glazing and renewable technologies – Ground source heat pumps, solar panels for hot water and solar panels to generate electricity are all potentially available under the Green Deal. Residents must apply to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (website www.decc.gov.uk or phone 0300 123 1234) for a voucher beforehand to get the cash back when work is completed. Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, said: “We now have funds for a communications campaign that will build further understanding of the Green Deal, helping to create a real buzz. When you add our fantastic cashback into the mix, it’s clear that the Green Deal is building momentum and will be a brilliant offer for people.”

To find out more about energy saving, contact Colin on 0845 474 6641.